Many of you have heard that the Clay County Fiscal Court sided with the Clay County Board of Education Wednesday July 14, 2021 and unanimously approved their request to allow removal of the mortal remains of nearly 80 souls from the 128 year old Hoskins Cemetery, located on property the CCBOE is claiming to own.
In an apparent reaction to public outcry about the removal to build a baseball field and parking lot for the school's sports complex, the board abandoned that strategy and cited student and faculty safety as the reason for the request, claiming that the hilltop cemetery was a potential "sniper's nest".
The action was taken despite being presented with a petition containing over 2,000 names of people who were opposed to the removal, and 49 direct descendants of those interred there expressing opposition to the plan. The board was undeterred by the fact that there are veterans of the Civil War, World Wars I & II and a memorial to a soldier of the Korean War who was killed in action located in the cemetery. There are Native American descendants buried there as well, whose graves should be Federally protected.
I share all of this because if it can happen in Clay County it can happen in your community as well. The battle is not lost until the first grave is breached, but the precedent being set here is a dangerous one.
The Historical Hoskins Cemetery on Island Creek Hill in Clay County, Kentucky
I urge anyone who respects the sanctity of your loved ones final resting place to call your state and federal representatives, the attorney general and anyone else who could potentially stop this action and make your voice heard. The will of the people should be heard and served. Our elected officials work for the people, not a select group with self-serving interests.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Hal Rogers- 606-679-8346
Mitch McConnell- 202-224-2541
Rand Paul- 202-224-4343
Derek Lewis-502-564-8100 Ext 654
Robert Stivers- 606-598-2322
Below is the e-mail thet I sent to to CJ Naber in Vital Statistics:
To whom it may concern:
I am writing to you about the Clay County School Board's intent to move forward with their plan to move the mortal remains of nearly 80 souls from their final resting place in the Hoskins Cemetery in the community of Island Creek, to another cemetery, and the Clay County Fiscal Court decision to allow them to proceed with the plan.
The term final resting place should mean just that. A person should be able leave this world with the peace of mind of knowing the place of their or their family's choosing for their burial will never be disturbed.
Nearly every human race and culture recognizes the sanctity of the mortal remains of their people, whether it be in preparation for an afterlife as in ancient Egyptian or Native American cultures or for resurrection day, when Christians believe the spiritual body will ascend into heaven. Even people with no religious or spiritual belief or affiliation respect the sanctity of the grave.
The first burial in the cemetery was in 1893 and the most recent in 2005. The cemetery has been actively cared for and is not abandoned. There are veterans of the Civil War and World Wars I & II buried in the Hoskins Cemetery, and there is a memorial for a Korean War veteran who was killed in action located there. There are many members of the Sizemore family interred there, who are known to be descended from the White Top and Saponi Nation bands of Native Americans and have the DNA to prove it. Native American graves are federally protected, and it is a deeply held belief in native American culture that disturbing the remains of the dead will interrupt the afterlife of the deceased.
The CCBOE initially stated they needed to move the cemetery to build a baseball field and parking lot for their athletic complex. One board member even told 4 individuals with family buried in the cemetery that "we'll be playing ball on that cemetery by fall". In an apparent reaction to public outcry to that ridiculous plan, the board changed their strategy to one of public safety stating that the cemetery was a potential "sniper's nest". This is clearly a grasping at straws move, to put members of the fiscal court in a position of appearing to disregard the safety of children and staff of the school if they oppose the plan. Less than a week prior some members of the fiscal court expressed that they were not in favor of the move, with one saying he would walk out when it was put to a vote. What happened between July 8th and July 14th to make the court vote unanimously to approve it?
There are family members of 52 of the nearly 80 people buried in the Hoskins Cemetery that have come forward in opposition to this plan. There was a petition circulated that in only a few days gathered 2,000 signatures of people from all over Kentucky and all around the nation who are opposed to the removal of these graves. If the CCBOE is allowed to proceed with this plan it will set a dangerous precedent and no family cemetery in the Commonwealth will be safe.
Cemeteries are often moved in the interest of public safety for road improvement projects, impoundments of reservoirs and lakes for flood control and other instances where the greater good of society is truly served by doing so. There is no good and valid reason for desecrating the graves of these poor souls.
I implore you to do whatever you can to stop this desecration.
Blaine K Price
About Blaine Price
Blaine grew up and resides in Paris, in Bourbon County, and has family ties to Eastern Kentucky. He has had a lifelong interest in Kentucky & American history, with an emphasis on Appalachian and Native American culture. He spends most of his free time these days on genealogy and cemetery preservation, and enjoying antique and classic automobiles.